Will the nomads invade Curacao?

The expectations are high. Curacao is preparing for an invasion of ‘digital nomads’ in the near future. The Caribbean is still undiscovered by these digital nomads, but in the near future, this situation is expected to change. Digital nomads are entrepreneurs who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their lives in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles.  There are different types of digital nomads. Until this moment there are about one million digital nomads in the world, but the projections are that for coming five to ten years this number will increase at a population of one billion people.  The government decide in start promoting Curacao as an attractive destination, where digital nomads can harvest their business activities in Latin America and the Caribbean region. About ninety percent of the digital nomads play also a part in the cultural and creative industry. Attracting digital nomads is paramount in the development of the cultural and creative industries for Curacao. The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information. Some scholars consider that the education industry, including public and private services, is forming a part of the creative industry.

The government of Curacao presents a basketful of measures to attract these digital nomads from all over the world. To mention: to promote Curacao as an attractive destination; the introduction of visa digital nomads; the introduction of special stay permits; the introduction of working permits; create and develop Curacao as a smart nation and attract companies who support flexible work like Venture Café and Wework.  WeWork is an American company that provides shared workspaces for technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises. Founded in 2010, it is headquartered in New York City. At the Smart Investment Summit which will be held in forthcoming November, the organizer CINEX will sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a Venture Café in Curacao.

Venture Café is a workspace for startups, small businesses, freelancers and (digital) entrepreneurs. There are currently eight Venture Cafés in cities across the Midwest, South, and Northeastern regions of the United States, and in Tokyo, Japan, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Each Venture Café is independently managed and run the flagship program, the Thursday Gathering. The smart city concept combines with digital nomadism can be a part of the economic growth creation of Curacao. But there are a few important barriers which still have to be tackled. For example: lower ticket prices for travelers to the island; strengthen and expand the hub function of Curacao as stimuli  for the doing of business with neighboring  countries in the region through Curacao; fixed direct online payment options to the island; make the culture of flexible working the new normal and therefore create and impulse a new work ethos in state of mind van the island citizens.

The nomad is a traveler with no settled home, moving from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters. Nomads keep moving for different reasons. A nomad constantly changes locations, switching from one place to another. Most nomads have some kind of place that they can call home, which is usually where their family or childhood friends are located, but they wouldn’t spend more than a few months a year there. That place they call home could be now named Curacao.

By Sharnon Isenia, Willemstad Curacao

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